Sunday, May 6, 2012

Coachella 2012 Day 1

The drive from LA seemed to drag on, zig zagging for miles over drab grey overpasses and freeways. Finally, we pulled off in Palm Springs and James and I were both pleasantly surprised at our destination and how quaint and unique this little piece of desert was. It is such an iconic little town, known for its parties and weekend sojourns celebrated by Hollywood royalty both past and present. 

We checked into our hotel which was full of young people, drinking and partying like the American cliche that is Spring Break. A quick outfit change and we were ready to head to Coachella. I was so nervous I could barely pick an outfit, pack my bag or get on the shuttle bus to head to the festival. My mind was racing and my nerves were getting the better of me. I pulled it together and we made the 30 minute shuttle bus ride to the festival with a bus load of eager people like us. Drinking was abundant on the shuttle rides, as was preparing joints for the day.

View from our balcony in Palm Springs

The festival is actually in Indio, about a 30 minute drive from Palm Springs. We didn't mind the shuttle ride every day. Most people slept on the way home. It was dark and a great time to unwind and reflect on the day's events.

I purchased VIP tickets months in advance and the benefits were already obvious when we arrived at the festival. We were hurried to a very private VIP entrance into the festival with a minimal bag search and light pat down. Our friends who had General Admission tickets told us terrible stories of being frisked and harrassed as they entered the main gates.

Once we walked into the VIP area, James and I were literally speechless at how amazing everything was. Huge bars with no lines, air conditioned toilets with mirrors (an essential for any festival attendee), sofas to lounge on, phone charging stations, mist fans to help cool down, shaded areas, food trucks with amazing cuisine including mexican, ice cream sandwiches, fish n chips, espresso bar, smoothie bar, pide, japanese and the american staple, burgers. But best of all, the VIP area is gated off from the main area with plenty of space to sit, and it's elevated which means you can see over the crowd for maximum viewing.

Watching Arctic Monkeys in the VIP

Palm Springs sweltered in a heatwave. Across the 3 days at Coachella, the temp didn't drop below about 35'c.

While standing to get our Over 21 drinking wrist bands, I spotted Alexander Skarsgard from True Blood. I was WAY too shy to ask for a photo with him so I took this sneaky pic instead. He is beyond sexy in real life. And so tall, he stood out in the crowd so easily.

While sipping a few beers to help release the nerves, we watched Arctic Monkeys on the main stage. Having seen them a few years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to hear how much better they are live. They played a tight set and a mix of new and old hits. Next we watched Pulp who were fantastic. Seriously, Jarvis Cocker is a god of some sort. He was dancing and twirling around, spilling red wine all over the stage and himself. He entertained the crowd and delivered the most popular hits from their songbook.

We nibbled on a few pulled pork tacos for dinner while we waited for Mazzy Star and The Black Keys to begin.

Border Grill food truck

Mini tacos = pure delight

Amazing art installations around the festival site

The Do-Lab, electronic beats & people smoking dope

Such a pretty sight

We had a prime view for The Black Keys in the VIP area and they played a super fun set with songs from both albums.

Towards the end of their set, we bolted over to the Mojave Tent to see M83. They were amazing, as usual. I saw them a few months ago at Laneway and they were even better at Coachella. The vibe in the crowd was much more intense. Midnight City got the biggest roar & support from the crowd but they finished on a high and we headed back to the VIP area to catch the start of Swedish House Mafia's set. I twisted James's arm to indulge in a chocolate cookie ice cream sandwich which DID NOT disappoint. The cookie was goey inside, the vanilla bean ice-cream was a heavenly way to end a 41'c day in the desert. 

Ice cream cookie sandwich for dessert? What would Michelle Bridges say?!

So beautiful... Our 1st night at Coachella was a success!

We walked the 1.5kms to the shuttle pickup and headed back to our hotel. The bus was silent and dark. My mind was racing, trying to process and store memories in my mind, to capture what I had seen and felt. 

We arrived back at the hotel at around 1:30am and decided to speak to the kids via facetime. It was so amazing to chat with them and see their little faces but I admit, I cried when we hung up the phone. With a huge time difference, we had to speak to the kids early in the morning. This didn't bother us at all since getting home from the festival + added jetlag in our systems meant that we didn't climb into bed every morning until about 3am. 


  1. Um, this looks like the trip of a lifetime... you must have kept pinching yourselves to actually believe you were doing something so cool, in another country, san kiddies!?
    Awesome photos, it looked incredible.
    Thanks for sharing day 1, looking forward to the rundown on the rest of the adventure xo

    1. It really was a trip of a lifetime. Coachella has been on my bucket list for years. And now I've done it!

      Some people questioned whether we should go, having such young children, to which I replied, when will ever be a good time? When they are in primary school, high school? Life is short. You have to make every day/week/month count.

      Glad you like the photos :)

  2. Pork tacos? Choc chip cookie ice-cream sandwich? Swedish House Mafia?? Could it get any better!!!!!!!!! xx

    1. Day 1 WAS amazing. Day 2 and 3 were just as brilliant. Posting about them today hun,


  3. You had me at Alexander Skarsgard!

    1. It was amazing. I'm kicking myself for not getting a photo with him...

      He is a god.



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